As I was applying for colleges, I knew that I was looking for three things: a business management major, a minor in communication arts, and a place that would challenge me to live out the Catholic faith in a way that no other university could. When I visited Franciscan University for the first time, I instantly knew this was the place for me.
From the friendly, welcoming students to the impressive daily Mass attendance and participation, Franciscan was different from all of the other colleges and universities I visited. Five years later, I’m still surprised by how much I’ve learned about myself both in the classroom and through my extracurricular activities. From experiencing different cultures during my semester abroad in Austria and mission trips on Native American reservations in North Dakota and New Mexico, to street evangelization in Pittsburgh and an internship in Walt Disney World, I’ve grown tremendously in both mind and spirit.
Before I even came to Franciscan, I narrowed my career choices down to two main options: management in the hospitality and entertainment industry or radio broadcasting. Franciscan allowed me to study both subjects, while my semester-long internship with the Disney College Program has helped me gain a solid footing from which to pursue a career in theme park management after graduation. Of course, the many opportunities I’ve had as a Franciscan student have also helped.
For instance, as vice president of Christian Students in Free Enterprise (CSFE), an academic club closely linked with the University’s Business Department, I’ve been able to learn more about how entrepreneurship can engage and inspire communities. Blending the principles of Christianity and the free enterprise system for the advancement of society through innovation, education, and the promotion of the human person, CSFE hosts numerous events for the local community each year, and has given me a taste for functioning as the kind of Christian business leader I want to be. In addition to CSFE, one of the cool things about Franciscan’s Business Department is our Business Advisory Board. Made up of approximately 15 successful business men and women who support the Business Department through real-world best practice advice, coordinating internships, and networking with students and graduates of Franciscan, the board plays a key role in helping us students think intelligently about our future careers.
While my major has helped me develop as a leader, Franciscan University’s other campus and faith life activities have given me a greater sense of self and allowed me to explore my many interest.
The Franciscan University Musical Theatre Troupe has been an amazing experience and I’ve been blessed to work with some very gifted vocalists on campus. I was even able to put my business skills to good use during my junior year when I joined the creative team of Into the Woods as the director of fundraising, advertising, and public relations. In this position, I was responsible for leading our fundraisers both on and off campus, running the box-office and e-ticket sales, managing our social media and email accounts, overseeing our concessions on the days of our performance, and monitoring fund security.
I know there are a lot of college choices out there. And to be honest, anyone who wishes to study business can go to nearly any institution to get a diploma. However, there are few institutions in which the business departments form, develop, and challenge a person the way Franciscan University does. The rigorous academics of Franciscan University and the vibrant Catholic atmosphere, calling every student to both professional success and sainthood, are truly what put Franciscan University above other universities.